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Only If You Pass the Questions

dan-pearce-single-dad-laughing

Forgive the tone of this post. I sat down to write something funny and I don’t actually think it’s funny at all so nothing funny came out. As you all know by now, I was once an active Mormon, and left the church several years ago.

Want to know something sad?

I don’t go to my family’s weddings anymore. Not my cousins. Not even my siblings. At least not if they take place in Mormon temples (which most of them do). Know why?

Because. If I do go, I don’t even get to go. I am asked to sit down with everyone’s children and babysit because I am not considered worthy to go inside and watch the ceremony. And let me tell you how fun that is, hanging out with all the teenage girls and trying to corral three dozen out of control toddlers.

After the wedding takes place, everyone goes outside onto the temple grounds, and I’m finally allowed to be part of the grown-ups. Wedding pictures. Come and pretend like we were all one big happy family at this wedding today. No thank you. If you don’t want me inside, then I’ll come to the wedding reception with everyone else you barely know. I’ll happily skip the wedding photos for a wedding I wasn’t actually invited to.

Mormons and their temples. To them, their temples are sacred and beautiful buildings where God lives and talks to them. It is in their temples that they receive all the rites and passages they need to get to heaven, live with each other for eternity, etc. To me, they’re $40 million+ (often very beautiful) buildings which ultimately tear many families apart. I mean, it seems nice, the whole “eternal family” thing. It really does. But the whole “you can’t come unless you pass our test” thing is a little much. Oh, sorry. God’s test. That’s what they’ll tell you it is.

Urgh. I’m in an ornery mood about this at the moment. I don’t even know why. Maybe it’s because I’ve just had too many friends getting married outside of the church lately, and to their families it was nothing but constant pressure (leading up to it) to get married and finally escape an ongoing life of sexual sin. Maybe it’s because, for some reason, the marriages of too many of my friends have not been celebratory at all simply because they didn’t take place inside of a temple.

That’s just Utah for you. That’s the dominant Mormon culture. There is a cloud of sadness that surrounds many non-temple weddings in many families around here (certainly not all of them, or even most of them). But those who get married in the temple? Well… they are doing it right. Celebrate the heck out of those invitations when they arrive. Make sure your temple recommend is still good! Get work off! Dump the kids on the lesser-worthies! And celebrate the day with your fellow elite!

Do you know how you get into the Mormon temple? I mean, for one you have to be a member of the Mormon church. But you also have to…

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2560 comments
princessplea
princessplea

(Posting as a guest, because I'm not ready for the social shit storm that will descend if "my" Mormons knew who I was. Thanks for the option.)


Marriages in the LDS church are supposed to be public:


http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/statement-on-marriage-circa-august-1835


Joseph Smith approved that statement, and later presidents took it out and replaced it with 132 because they wanted multiple wives, and didn't want government moles seeing what they were doing. They could control the audience in the temple. In a "public feast", notsomuch.



The garment wasn't ever meant to be worn all. the. time. It was originally a part of a ritual form of prayer in temple worship, and it wasn't until several church presidents later that someone said, "Hey! You guys should wear the garment all the time!" It went from being a teaching tool, to a way to control what women wore. (The "all the time" guy also said that the garment was the Lord's standard of modesty.)


http://www.scribd.com/doc/41977917/History-of-the-Garment

Kimberly Taylor
Kimberly Taylor

It's not a matter of less than. I didn't mean to say I wouldn't want to go. I meant if they had a ceremony that they considered sacred and it was something I wasn't able to attend. I would of course want to be there for my friends and family. I'm sorry that I wasn't clear on what I meant. I can't speak for all members of the church but I know that I am not arrogant, I do not disrespect others or their beliefs and I would never mock another's spiritual beliefs no matter how much I didn't agree. I've learned a lot about other religions by asking questions and respectfully listening to their responses. When I said I wouldn't want to participate I was thinking about a ceremony like a temple wedding where they're sacred. It just didn't come out like it did in my head. No one person is better than another based on what they believe. I am a convert. The church I attended growing up had a specific class in which they explored different religions and explained why they were wrong and why those believers were going to hell. I never felt right about it. I also have never heard a member say to a member of another religion "I'm better than you, you're going to hell for what you believe, I don't talk to non members," or mock any other religion. We are focused on our Father in Heaven, our families and loving and serving others. And I can't see any reason to mock that.

GilbertGripe
GilbertGripe

What I learned from the comments.

It helps to redefine the questions (in the member's mind), in order to give the right answers.  That would explain why so many active members say "those aren't the questions". I'm concluding that the questions mean different things to different members.

A thinking person can't define "sustain" to mean "always agree".  Additionally members seem to have a wide variety of ways of calculating "full tithing".

What the questions mean to the "Brethren" would be interesting.  Perhaps they communicate that with their "courts of love".  This week's events seem to indicate keeping your mouth shut is how you "sustain".

Brian Smith
Brian Smith

yeah...that occurred to me before, I used to think like you, then I started really thinking for myself. With time, I finally saw the forest through the trees. It was an amazing time, but one of the most difficult things to go through...to turn away from your family and friends, your life, your upbringing. everything you ever thought you knew. When you see a person that cast away their religion...any religion, you should respect them for what they had to go through to do that. Its not a "falling away" its a rebirth. Its the little red pill. Some people just cant handle the truth. They cant do what it takes to break free, and that's ok, as long as you can keep your beliefs out of my day to day living. Sure, give me something to read, have a discussion with me, but don't thrust your religion into laws that govern me or hijack planes that carry me, or tell me who I can and cant marry based on your book. Learn to live and let live.

Marilyn Edick
Marilyn Edick

See, that's the problem with being indoctrinated into a closed, insular group. You don't realize how arrogant you sound to the rest of the world. (....sort of like scientologists can't hear how crazy they sound.) You wouldn't want to go to a Buddhist or Catholic wedding because you don't believe that way? What about just being there to support your friends and loved ones who just want to celebrate with you? Human relationships are kind of a big deal. I'm not Catholic and I'm not Sikh and I'm not Jewish, but I've been to those weddings because they were my friends. They wanted me there. I put my friends, and my relationship with them, before my own personal belief system. That's not unusual. That's what most humans do. Again, you can't hear how ridiculous and arrogant you sound to the rest of us. It's not disrespectful to not understand. It's disrespectful to say, "because you don't believe the same way I do, I don't want to go, or I don't want you to be there." That's arrogant. You're just going to have to be offended, because I've got news for you....PEOPLE are worthy of respect and care....belief systems are not. And if your belief system advocates elevating yourself above others based on unsubstantiated claims and treating others as "less than," then it SHOULD be mocked.

DanielleandJustin James
DanielleandJustin James

The temple is some thing you must PREPARE yourself to understand it would make no sense to some one who is not following the guidelines that god has set out for us for us to find true Happiness!

DanielleandJustin James
DanielleandJustin James

I think some thing needs to be said about the fact that there are so many people here that are upset by the way we keep others out of the temple cuz it's "secret" or " certain underwear" or really anything for that matter about the church! I think a lot of these comments are very ignorant YOU HAVE NO IDEA OF THE THINGS YOU ARE EVEN COMMENTING ABOUT. There fore have to room to say "cult" or "sounds crazy" it's completely judgmental! That would like me coming to you and saying " you know all those groceries you just bought to feed your family? This will give them cancer and that will make you kid have brain dysfunctions" point being I know nothing about you, your family, the way you live your life! So It is not my place to judge! Just like it's not your place to judge me on how I live my life and make crude remarks you know nothing about! And to those that have been members and have fallen away! I know god has grace and he loves everyone of his children me bet it not! With that said if their are any of you out there that are doing things WRONG and what I mean I by the common sense that god gave you! You can say this alcohol is hurting my body and impairs my judgment! Then you understand what this so called "test" is that we have to pass before Entering the temple! It's like teaching someone addition in mathematics and dropping them in a calc class and expecting to get an A+. It's not about keeping you out it's about teaching the steps and learning them by Living them the best we can so we are prepared to take home that A+ with understanding!

DanielleandJustin James
DanielleandJustin James

Did it ever occur to you that we are "thinking for ourselves" and maybe just maybe we understand something you don't?

DanielleandJustin James
DanielleandJustin James

Candice I can't agree more!!!! We got sealed after we were married and that was hard for me not being "worthy" to enter the temple and all because I acted on things that I wanted to and not the way The Lord see fit for my happiness! It was such an amazing thing when I was able to enter the temple! What an amazing day and to all the people on here that feel the need to belittle or mock some one for how or what they believe is hypocrisy in itself! We all need to raise each other up and love all gods children!

Debbie Babbel
Debbie Babbel

I've never attended the wedding of any family members because they've all been in temples. But boy let me tell you all about the pressure that was put on me to invite ALL of them to my wedding (non temple, of course) because it's just not right to not invite them. Want to hear the saddest part of all....I caved and invited them all. I kick myself in the ass for being such a doormat and inviting them. If I had one iota of the backbone then that I have now, they wouldn't have been invited. Hindsight!

Kimberly Taylor
Kimberly Taylor

I'm not offended that he's hurt, or offended that he feels excluded. I'm offended by the fact that he's taking something that is dear to people he loves, twisting it, and mocking it. It's a sacred ceremony. Imagine this if you will. Being in the temple when you aren't ready for it (it truly is something you spiritually prepare for) is like going to a baseball game in a ball gown (or tuxedo) you would feel very uncomfortable and out of place. Doesn't mean you'll never go. It's just not the right time. And that's OK. It's not about being good or bad. It's about having a similar belief. I wouldn't want to participate in a Catholic or a Buddhist wedding or other religious event. Because I wouldn't believe that way. And I wouldn't want to disrespect their ceremony by my lack of understanding. It doesn't make me not good enough...

Sarah Kelly
Sarah Kelly

Morman underwear???? I grew up RLDS, but never heard of these...

Jennifer Payne
Jennifer Payne

If you read them most of the comments they say there is no council given. If it isn't from lds.org I do not trust it.

Jennifer Payne
Jennifer Payne

Spreading hate begets more hate. Why does tolerance have to be one sided? I have gay friends, I have gay family members. I love them. They are good people. We have different beliefs. Do I hate on them, call them names or spread lies about them? No.. I love them, I treat them with respect and I am grateful for their friendship.

Kara Laws
Kara Laws

I understand both sides of this. I am LDS. i was married in the temple. I am also a wedding photographer. And while I don't shoot many Mormon weddings I have learned a lot from the ones I have been a part of: 1. Obviously, this is an issue and it can, and does hurt people. 2. Some couples don't seem to care that they are leaving very important family out of a very important day. 3. But some couples care, a lot and they have managed to include their family marvelously while still following their beliefs (some don't invite anyone to the temple and have a second ceremony with family and friends, some only invite parents, a few have gotten married outside the temple with the plan to be sealed in a year). I understand the importance of following your heart and what you believe but as the LDS church teaches that its fundimental princple is the family i believe that we, Mormons, need to make all of our family a priority instead just the ones that share our beliefs. Also, the recommend questions are not that bad. You are exaggerating. And I have gottan a recommend just fine when I wasn't able or didn't pay my tithing. I know gay people with temple recommends. And the question about "pledging your allegiance" is actually asking if you are actively working against the church. It may sound like they are asking your if you have ever said anything mean, or talk to people that are not LDS, or what-not but that is not how it is suppose to be asked. Obviously, if you are working to destroy something that people hold dear they are not going to just hand it to you. Oh, and before the internet beats me for this - no the church does not encourage getting married outside the temple and sealed later. Yes it happens. Yes, those people will still go to heaven.

JenniferYork1
JenniferYork1

Well looking at a few of these posts and I can see that the heated debate is ON LIKE DONKEY KONG! I applaud you for sticking to your beliefs and for not backing out of sticky situations. And to be honest I know how you are feeling since I am not, nor will I be, Mormon. I married my husband who was and is still considered Mormon, but doesn't go to Temple or to church even. When we went to his younger brothers wedding we were not allowed to go into the Temple because well one I wasn't obviously Mormon, and two his Temple recommend was I guess revoked? When I was herded into the room waiting for them to come out I was reminded that I was not the only one huddled in this room full of kids and what not. And it was then that I realized that I was ok with the fact that I wasn't going to see the inside of a Temple or what not. The important part of the wedding was the time that was spent with them and realizing that I was still celebrating their love. 


Some couples get married in the woods with Raccoon's as officiants. Some get married in elaborate ceremonies that last for days. Some people get married in a church, and some get married in a temple. The venue isn't the most important aspect of a wedding, it's the celebration of the love the two people have for each other. Once I realized that I wasn't mad, or upset for being asked to wait outside the Temple. It sucks, but hey at least you were invited!!! LOL 

Terri Phillips
Terri Phillips

Ultimately, this post is about his experience and how he felt. He obviously has felt this way for awhile and needed people to know how their actions affect those around them.

Heidi Moses
Heidi Moses

If you can't use reason to see the exclusionary policies of the LDS Church, that is your fault.

MaryBeth Barnes Boucher
MaryBeth Barnes Boucher

I am an excommunicated Mormon because I wouldn't do a "baptism-in-stead" for my MIL who was a devout Catholic ( I didn't want to belittle her beliefs). After meetings with my Elders, with my women's' group, with the leader of my church... and after denying all of them (even after being told that my MIL  would go to hell if I didn't do this for her)... my church turned it's back on me. Because of that, I haven't been inside a church in 16 years... I worship at home.

Pat Raymes
Pat Raymes

The mormon I know brags about large funerals!

Charity Weeks
Charity Weeks

I was not raised in the LDS church, ended up getting baptized in it, and guess what? It wasn't in Utah, and I was asked these questions. Don't be so quick to assume that YOUR particular bishopric does everything by the "book" What one persons experience is, doesn't mean it happens that way in every stake center. My experiences line up much closer to Dan's than what many of you are claiming (and calling Single Dad Laughing, a liar for). Exclusion hurts. If families are forever, and I'm assuming Dan's family was all sealed to each other for eternity...then why can't he be part of the wedding of his family members. We aren't talking your college roommate here. A family member. "Families are Forever"....

JD Christiansen
JD Christiansen

Like I said, there's probably a million holes in the analogy and I'm sure others out there will find them. However Fabio, your point is not one of them. If I or you or anyone were going to Antarctica and didn't have money to pay the captain of the ship/airplane, was without a moderately warm coat, and/or had no provisions, I'm pretty sure someone along the way would absolutely say "Hell no!"

Camille Villasenor
Camille Villasenor

This is ABSOLUTELY incorrect information, Jason. I have questioned many things and have been encouraged to do so. This is how my testimony was built. I don't know who the leaders who were above you were, but they were wrong. I have a feeling that isn't the only issue here though.

Camille Villasenor
Camille Villasenor

You have twisted the facts... The temple ceremony is SACRED. Not a big secret. Imagine your most intimate, sacred moments- would you care to share every detail??? Wouldn't be so sacred then, would it?? And as much as I would love to save everyone I know and take them straight to the Celestial Kingdom, there is still free agency. Everyone is welcome to the same eternal blessings as anyone else. But they have to do it for themselves! Just like pain and sorrow, alcoholism, addiction-- I would love to take that away from anyone struggling with it, but I can't. They have to be willing to do the work to free themselves. Everything in this life (not just the LDS religion) is based on agency, not selfishness!!

Camille Villasenor
Camille Villasenor

Good for you for still being there and supporting your daughter, AND coming to terms with how it would go before it happened. This type of blog is probably why people had pity for you, though. It's a thin line-- do we pretend to not be bothered that our family is outside waiting, or do feel sad and apologetic? Either way, temple couples will be the bad guy in someone's eyes.

Camille Villasenor
Camille Villasenor

The thing is, the thing Dan never mentioned, is that we are encouraged to seek answers to our questions through study and prayer. We are able to question ANYTHING about anything. And likely we will get answers or directed to where to find them. "Exclusive club".. Is it really "exclusive" if anyone is welcome to join?? Anyone on this planet is welcome to be a member of our church!!!!

Patti Price Spathes
Patti Price Spathes

Notice how Dan stirs the pot and then poof is gone?? I am thinking he needed the blog to get noticed as it has been pretty mundane here of late ....what a great way to do it!! Kristen thank you for your post

Camille Villasenor
Camille Villasenor

Also, for your 2 men you knew of doing this.. How would you even know that and why would you care?? For your 2 men, I'll raise you 100's.

Camille Villasenor
Camille Villasenor

There are liars, hypocrites, and down right awful people no matter where you look and in every religion. The facade they were putting on will reflect only on them on judgement day, not the leaders who didn't catch onto what they are up too. They still have free agency. In fact, you too could get baptized, lie about your worthiness, and enter the temple. I'm not sure why anyone wants to make such a mockery of such sacred things, but whatever.. I'm not the judge and am not concerned with what other people are doing.

Nora Zappia
Nora Zappia

I wish I had more time to read your stuff dan- it's all wonderful Insites on life!

PattiPriceSpathes
PattiPriceSpathes

Jason Larkin, what ever you believe or lack of belief is you choice and I applaud you for it ....the comment that appeared her was part of a discussion and I am not positive why it landed here out of context, I was actually saying that I have the deepest respect for those who choose not to be Mormon, it is not for everyone....but if I choose to remain Mormon please respect my choice likewise. I don't need you to believe in my "sacred cow" ....nor do I expect you to cease to speak....I personally couldn't care less about you or Dan......but thanks for the attack....not conversation....typical

Gillian Kay
Gillian Kay

Years ago they use to have a normal marriage first then get sealed in the temple well after, there is such a stigma about only going to the temple now that most In this day and age don't realise... You Don't have to go to the temple first! People are just horrible and judging that they assume all things because you didn't choose to get married in the temple first but chose to have a normal ceremony, then a year later get sealed... I stopped going to church about a year ago, but regardless when I was going I couldn't go to my brothers or sisters wedding anyway even if I could pass "the test" simply because I was not endowed. I love my family but to be honest I am not that phased about not seeing them get married or my friends, but I can understand for those that would be hurt or upset. But you are right about the "baby sitting" thing, that's just bull crap :-p

Jason Larkin
Jason Larkin

Ha...thanks Patti Price Spathes for making my point for me. Mormonism is the culture and religion I was raised in. Its the religion and culture of most of my family going back multiple generations. Your sacred cow is not my sacred cow and I won't cease to speak my thoughts at the request of intellectual fascists.

Patti Price Spathes
Patti Price Spathes

I am not blinded one bit, I love my choice of being Mormon, spare me your thoughts on my beliefs

GilbertGripe
GilbertGripe

@princessplea Polygamy and the secret/sacred sealing ceremony are linked.  They came as a set.

"Later presidents . . . replaced it with D&C 132."  I've heard of some members who believe Joseph Smith wasn't a polygamist, that he fought polygamy instead.  That JS didn't receive D&C132, instead it was allegedly instituted by Brigham Young and wasn't revealed by God.  Is that your argument?



PattiPriceSpathes
PattiPriceSpathes

@MaryBeth Barnes Boucher  So you were excommunicated for refusing to do a baptism for the dead ? I am going to lay down the BS card ....as am excommunicated Mormon that is nothing they would excommunicate for......so perhaps there is a bit more to this story that you don't want to tell....but certainly don't tell half truths 

princessplea
princessplea

@GilbertGripe @princessplea Yes, Gilbert. That's where I'm coming from. 


www.PureMorminism.com  has a great piece on polygamy, and 


http://restorationbookstore.org/jsfp-index.htm has a tremendous amount of information showing Joseph Smith fought against polygamy right up until his martyrdom. (I personally find it far more plausible that he was not a polygamist, considering the deep conflicts of interest that every witness of his polygamy had, and that his public record, including court records, are consistently anti-polygamy.)


Do you have more info on the sealing ceremony's origination? I've never really liked the secrecy, nor the inequality in the wording of the vows.


(Sorry it took me so long to respond. I was having email issues.)